BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN After three days of going in an out of consciousness as a result of liver and kidney failure, Greg Nystrom was prepared to move into hospice.
“He was hallucinating and thinking this was the end,” daughter Nancee Nystrom said. “We convinced him to go through more dialysis . . . After that, he said, ‘I want to change the plan.’”
Greg and his family and friends are grateful for the turnaround, and that gratefulness has become a theme.
Nancee established “The Grateful Greg Group” on Facebook to provide updates about Greg, the Grateful Heads will be performing during a benefit at Lupine Brewing in Delano Saturday, and the sale of “Grateful Greg & Co.” bracelets and shirts with a Grateful Dead lyric will help cover costs Greg has incurred.
Nancee noted that Greg’s friend, Justin Dietrick, is a member of the Grateful Heads, who are volunteering to play at the benefit and have learned to play songs from some of Greg’s favorite bands, including Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, and the Moody Blues.
The benefit will take place from 6 to 10 p.m.
Greg’s family and friends will prepare a potluck meal that will be available for a suggested donation of $5 per plate.
More than 60 items will be a offered in a silent auction from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
“The silent auction items are everything from gift cards, to drones, to crossbows, to signed art,” Nancee said. “Mary Kay, LuLaRoe, and essential oils representatives have made baskets. I can’t even think of all the stuff because it’s exceeded the 60-item limit I wanted. It’s great.”
Those traveling from out of town for the benefit will be able to take advantage of a special rate from GrandStay, which will donate 10 percent of the proceeds from those rooms to Greg.
Every little bit will help, as Greg has been in and out of the hospital since November. While Greg was in the hospital, Nancee said he missed paperwork he was required to sign to renew his insurance in January, leaving him uninsured in the new year.
“My sister and I spent hours talking to judges and various companies to try to expedite emergency appeals on their decision to take him off Minnesota Care,” Nancee said. “After some growling conversations with these people, we got very good news that they reinstated his insurance Feb. 1.”
Greg’s family has since gotten more good news.
“After dozens of calls between Minnesota Human Services and my sister, Lynn Tschudi, for the last few weeks, a resolution has been found,” Nancee said Wednesday. “Once the administrator from Minnesota Human Services entered my father’s proof of income into the system yesterday, it automatically populated health insurance for my father, Greg Nystrom, as of Jan. 1, 2017. We are waiting for the official letter and system confirmation; however, we’ve made payments online to cover his insurance premium for January and February.”
Even with insurance, expenses remain.
“His bills, even with coverage, are going to definitely change his lifestyle and affordability of necessities and medications,” Nancee said.
She describes her father as a hard-working man who worked through physical pain until his employer and co-workers insisted he go on disability. She noted he has been active in the Delano community, including the Delano Sportsmen’s Club, and has helped organize benefits for others in the past.
She said she is thankful for the “outpouring of support from the community” and is looking forward to celebrating with her dad.
“We are very grateful to have my father around today, remembering that each day truly is a gift,” Nancee said.